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DIY Skateboarding: How To Build a Half-Pipe Ramp

By Andres Pachon

A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.


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A lot of people have shown interest in our guide on how to make your own basic skate ramp. And from now on you won't have to worry if there is a half-pipe near, because today we will teach you how to make your own half-pipe.

The structure of the half-pipe is very similar to a cross-section of a swimming pool and you may look at it as two concave ramps, topped by copings and decks, facing each other across a flat transition (tranny). The half-pipe we will teach you to make is based on a 10 foot (3.0 m) high platform with a 5 foot (1.5 m) radius and 5 feet (1.5 m) of vertical.

You will need 4’ wide decks. You will also need a full sized template of quarter-pipe, so that you can use it to mark all end supports to the same size. 1/4” plywood works really good.

• Holding the pieces together with duct tape is an option, nevertheless, you may want to cut scab plates out of 3/4’’ plywoods where the seams join and use 3/4’’ wood screws to hold the pieces.
• Rip a sheet of plywood in half (cut it in the long way). Rip it to 23 and 3/4’’ so you can get two rips in one sheet.
• Cut two feet off of one of the rips and scab it to te full length piece. Then, you will have a 0.6m X 3.0m rectangle.
• Scab a 1.5m square and hook it to the rectangle you made before. It will look like a giant boot.
• Drive a nail in the corner at the top of the 5X5 square that is not attached to the rectangle. Use the nail as a pivot and mark the radius in the top corner (where the square connects with the rectangle) to the bottom corner directly. Then, cut the radius using a jigsaw.

DIY Skateboarding how to build a ramp

The next step is using your template to create two end panels per quarter pipe. For this, use two layers of 1.9cm plywood that you will laminate together. In order to laminate, pour wood glue into a paint tray and with a roller, roll a thin layer of glue over the surface of the bottom layer from the plywood.

Lay the top layer down over the glue, turning 90 degrees. Line up the edges and screw the two layers with a 1 1/4’’ coarse thread wood screws. The glue will need all night to set, then, use your template and mark out the end panels. Cut them out with circular saw or a jigsaw.

diy how to build a half pipe

Afterwards, use the template for making intermediate supports. It can be a single layer of 3/4’’ plywood, scabbed together using 2 by material. Keep the scab plates two inches in from the edges.

Cut a lot of 2x4s into 0.9m length. Use a stop block setup to make sure that they are all cut to identical lenghts.






skateboard ramps how to construct one yourself

Line the flat edge of 2X4s up with the edge of end panels (that’s where the riding surface is going to be). Then, screw them to end panels a few inches apart.

Nail the other end to the intermediate panel, so you can use the same spacing. Stagger the 2X4s between intermediate panels, this will allow you to screw them. Use as many intermediate panels as necessary to get the overall length you prefer. Use the other end panel at the opposite end. It will be necessary to taper the bottom 2x4 to a profile so it will fit to the ground.

Skateboard ramps how to build half pipes

Frame under the platform so the ramp supports heavy weight and hard landings. Get the framing anchored to the ground and it will not tip over anytime. Depending on the setup, you might anchor the back side of the platform to a building or support beams poured with footings. At last, make a sándwich with the intermediates with framing and run a carriage bolt through.

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The Half-Pipe is almost done, now you only need to install the riding surface. 3/8’’ CDX plywood should be flexible enough. You have to run two layers in the same direction. Break the seams running a full course across the length, run a 0.6m rip with the grain running at the same way on top. You need to be sure to stagger the end joints for added strenght. Finally, Screw it to the 2x4s.


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